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2: The Role of Tobacco in the Development of Cancer

Module Description

Content in this module will help students gain a scientific understanding of the how cancer develops, the cell’s protective measures to defend against cancer, and the mechanisms by which tobacco constituents weaken these protective capabilities.

The specific concepts covered in this module include:

  • How cancer develops
  • Specific mechanisms by which tobacco contributes to cancer development
  • Introduction to DNA, genes, and proteins
  • Description of the main carcinogens found in tobacco
  • Genetic variations and how they contribute to changes in protein function
  • Cell’s defense mechanisms to protect against cancer
  • Interaction of genetics and environment that contribute to cancer development

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Explain basic cell terminology, including DNA, gene, and protein
  • Describe the two major types of carcinogens in tobacco
  • List the steps involved in cancer formation and tumor growth
  • Discuss the damaging consequences of carcinogens to the DNA
  • Describe the protective mechanisms of the cell after exposure to tobacco
  • Discuss the short and long term effects of carcinogens in the cell
  • Describe the roles of genetics and the environment in cancer development